I’ve always been a successful person. Success is important to me. Perhaps my definition of success has changed over time and with experience, but success is a powerful motivator for me, and at one time I was obsessively possessed with success. I was never filthy rich, but had all the simple things a simple man would ever need. A wife, a child, a job that can pay the bills even though the psychotic mate refused to work at the time, two vehicles, two 401K’s, two bank accounts, and all the hi tech gadgets I ever salivated over. I was, compared to some, rich. You see, growing up in a poor neighborhood where roaches are forever violating your personal sovereignty, where your odds of getting into a fight daily far outweigh your odds of winning the lotto and riding in elevators that reek of urine were the norm, success in order to liberate both myself and my family was very important to me. It may have very well been, too important.
Growing up in a culture where everyone wanted to be the man, the G, the King or what have you, I lost track of what was truly important, and this lead to my rock bottom.
I moved out of the South Bronx at a young age, 19. I left in 2000. I was supposed to transfer within my bank to where WTC 7 was located. My ultimate goal was to be one of the successful ones in WTC One. This was when HSBC had yet to acquire Republic National Bank, whose world headquarters is located on 40th and 5th Avenue in Manhattan, where I worked. It now belongs to HSBC. In any case I met my ex-wife and was engaged in a long distance relationship when I decided to move to CT instead of bringing her to NY, due to certain disabilities she has. The harsh bestial environment of NY was no place for her I thought. So I escaped the ghetto, and lived in a small town away from it all, wanting nothing more than to tend to my family and live in peace. Thus it happened I acquired employment in CT, first at Webster Bank, then branching off into customer service at CIGNA, liking the idea of helping others by working within the healthcare field I branched into claims, then appeals, and then became a disability case manager, finding a company I thought I’d be able to sink my roots into and contribute towards our mutual success. I did this for over ten years. Until something started going wrong, different changes within my body, family emergencies etc. A steady habit of awkward sleep patterns only assisted in my slow spiral downwards.
There are so many details to share, yet I wont burden the general audience with such tedious matters such as intense personal details. All I know is I found myself isolated, alone, my marriage eroded however at this point, looking back, deep down I always knew it’s demise was inevitable. To make a long story short, friends I thought I had I have no more, family I thought I had I have no more. My support base is so small I can count it on less than one hand. After tracing all of my errors and going years into a self destructive depressive tantrum state I had the epiphany as to why it seemed I was the incarnation of the Toxic Avenger to the masses who act as if I am patient zero for a plague, minus his superhuman strength. It is when I got to rock bottom, relying on the charity of others for my sustenance, returning to the food stamp program so that I don’t starve, applying to everywhere I could walk to in a 5 mile radius only to be told “you’re overqualified for this position, sorry”, without a dime of my own in my pocket, divorced by a female who sucked me dry and left me to hang though she promised to reciprocate the assistance she received from me, only when I smashed myself into a billion tiny pieces and reached that moment of do or die did I understand the true nature of the human spirit.
Prayer has a lot to do with me maintaining my sanity during such maddening times. But I realized something about myself at that moment. Besides where I went wrong, or the wrongs I committed but could not perceive, I realized, though I may be broken I am far from obliterated. I realized the inner strength within that kept me afloat, surviving all these years is still a part of me. My job may be gone, my family gone, my possessions and wealth, and part of my health as well may be gone but the will to survive remains. My gifts remain. My talents remain and now, they are further seasoned by these experiences. The will to persevere and overcome remains and in this rapidly changing world with much work to do, I have a voice to use in service for others.
Maybe you are going through hell and high waters right now, maybe you too got caught in that dark quick sand of despair, maybe you too are thinking you’re just not cut out for this, that you won’t make it, that you can’t. It might seem dark right now, right now you may not see a way out or even how to start getting there but maybe that means you haven’t quite hit your rock bottom. It’s when you empty out, when you’re laid bare, when you crash at the bottom is when you’ll find the tools you possess, the true nature of your character, and the raw survival instinct which will propel you back towards the top, surpassing even your own limitations. It is only when you hit the rock at the bottom that you will discover your true strength. Strip away the mask, step outside of the box, see with your mind and not your eyes.Like the Phoenix who rises from the ashes, face the pain you evade and be born again, stronger, wiser.
Rock Bottom isn’t the end, it’s your new beginning. It is the rebirth of your soul. Now, spread your wings and take flight towards your dreams!